The model M600 units will supplement the island's diesel generator and be operational in the spring, after the rainy season. Installation is being undertaken by Foras Energy Inc and Pacific Industrial Electric. Although four turbines were initially to have been installed under a multi-project grant, the plant had to be reduced in size because less money was available. Even so, more wind turbines could eventually be installed to power a desalination plant, says Cannon. Currently fresh water is shipped in from the mainland by barge.
The US Navy facility wanted renewables on the island, which is ten miles long by two miles at its widest point, in part because of the strict air pollution controls in Los Angeles. Installation was funded under the Strategic Environment Research and Development Project of the Departments of Defense and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
On another military base, a remote project installed by the same team, Foras-Pacific Industrial Energy Inc, is helping track space launches from Cape Canaveral. Last year, four Micon 225 kW turbines were installed on the US Air Force's Ascension Auxiliary Airfield on Britain's Ascension Island in the south Atlantic. The turbines have been providing as much as one-quarter of the power needed by the air station, which tracks satellites as well as being the most southerly station for tracking US space launches. The island, over 1000 miles off Africa, has a population of some 1500.